One-size-fits-all insurance industry model won’t cut it anymore

THE insurance industry has always been a complex and challenging one, with ever-evolving customer needs, products, and technologies. To stay ahead of the competition, insurance professionals need to be constantly learning and updating their skills. However, many learning institutions still rely on a one-size-fits-all approach to education, offering generic training programmes that don’t meet the specific needs of their future employees.

This approach may have worked in the past, but it won’t cut it anymore. I had a conversation with a legal practitioner who is also a notary public and she told me that not all lawyers are notary publics, because there are certain pieces of training that notary publics go through beyond the normal studies for other lawyers.

The same can be mentioned for doctors who go beyond and carry out specialist training to become a specialist in a certain medical field. In this article, we’ll explore why a personalised approach to education is essential for insurance professionals, and how it can help them stay ahead of the curve in this competitive industry.

The changing landscape of the insurance industry

The insurance industry is undergoing a massive transformation, driven by changing customer expectations, new technologies, and emerging risks. Customers are demanding more personalised and convenient services and are increasingly turning to digital channels to interact with insurers.

At the same time, the rise of new risks such as cyber threats, climate change, and pandemics is challenging insurers to develop new products and risk management strategies. In this rapidly changing landscape, insurance professionals need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to adapt to these new challenges.

Traditionally, insurance professionals have relied on tertiary education, on-the-job training, and other industry certifications to develop their skills. However, these methods may not be enough to keep up with the pace of change in the industry. To succeed in today’s insurance landscape, professionals need more  specialised education that addresses their specific needs, challenges, goals, and also the needs of the industry itself.

This could include training in emerging risks, new technologies, customer experience, and leadership skills. Specialised education can help professionals to stay ahead of the curve, enhance their career prospects, and ultimately drive better business outcomes.

Benefits of specialised education

Specialised education offers several benefits for insurance professionals and their employers. First, it can help to improve job performance, by providing professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to do their jobs effectively. Second, it can enhance career prospects, by helping professionals to develop new skills and gain industry certifications that are valued by employers.

Third, it can increase employee engagement and retention, by demonstrating that the employer is invested in the professional development of their employees. Finally, it can drive better business outcomes, by improving customer satisfaction, reducing risk, and increasing profitability. Despite these numerous benefits of specialised education, many companies in the insurance industry still struggle to provide it effectively.

Key challenges

Among these is the general lack of resources. Providing specialised education can be resource-intensive, requiring dedicated staff, budgets, and infrastructure. Many companies and institutions may not have the resources to provide comprehensive training programmes that meet the needs of the industry.
There is also resistance to change, which can be difficult.

Many employees may be resistant to new training methods or technologies. This can make it challenging for companies and institutions to implement specialised education programmes effectively.
Insurance is also a complex and specialised industry, and it can be challenging to find experts who are qualified to provide training in emerging areas such as cyber risk, climate change, and customer experience.

Innovative solutions for your consideration

Despite these challenges, there are several innovative solutions that companies and institutions in the insurance industry can explore to provide specialised education effectively. These include blended learning, which combines traditional classroom-based training with online learning modules, videos, and simulations. This approach can help to make training more engaging and interactive and can also be more flexible and convenient for employees.

Some could explore micro-learning, which  involves  delivering training in small, bite-sized chunks that can be consumed quickly and easily. This approach can be effective for busy employees who may not have the time or attention span for longer training sessions. There is also gamification that involves using game elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards to make training more engaging and fun.

This approach can help to motivate employees and encourage them to learn new skills.
Virtual reality (VR) has also come in handy and can provide immersive and realistic training experiences that simulate real-life scenarios. This approach can be effective for training in high-risk areas such as claims handling, underwriting, and risk assessment.

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in specialised education in the insurance industry. Online learning platforms, webinars, and video-based training are becoming more common, and are helping to make training more accessible and convenient for employees.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are also being used to provide personalised training recommendations based on an employee’s learning history and performance. In addition, social learning platforms, such as discussion forums and peer-to-peer learning networks, are helping to foster a culture of continuous learning and knowledge sharing.

Continuous learning is the way to go

Continuous learning is essential for success in the insurance industry. As customer needs, technologies, and risks evolve, insurance professionals need to be constantly updating their skills and knowledge.
This can include attending industry conferences, participating in webinars, reading industry publications, and completing online courses.

Employers can also support continuous learning by providing access to specialised training programmes, offering mentoring, and coaching, and encouraging employees to seek out new learning opportunities.

Several companies in the insurance industry have implemented successful specialised education programmes that have helped to improve    employee performance, engagement, and retention.

For example, Maksure Risk Solutions in South Africa launched a tailor-made Degree Programme in Management practice in partnership with Henley Business School. The degree has equipped their employees with skills and expertise necessary to thrive in volatile and competitive business environment.

In conclusion, the insurance industry is undergoing a massive transformation, driven by changing customer expectations, new technologies, and emerging risks. To succeed in this rapidly changing landscape, insurance professionals need specialised education that addresses their specific needs, challenges, and goals.

Specialised education can help to improve job performance, enhance career prospects, increase employee engagement and retention, and drive better business outcomes. Technology is also playing an increasingly important role in specialised education, with online learning platforms, AI and ML, and social learning platforms helping to make training more accessible and engaging.

Continuous learning is essential for success in the insurance industry, and employers can support this by providing access to specialised training programmes, mentoring, and coaching, and encouraging employees to seek out new learning opportunities.

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